Lately, I’ve been cranking out flat genoise about 1 inch high, one after the other. I think the highest I’ve ever achieved was 1.5 in., and that was when I forgot the add the butter. Every time I fill the cake pan, the batter barely gets half full. I have been trying to get the root of the problem, and so far, I have tried…
- getting a ~$300 5 qt. KitchenAid mixer (Works great. I used to beat genoise by hand.)
- getting the expensive giant Matfer balloon whisk (It seems a little awkward using it in the KitchenAid 5 qt bowl. I don’t know if it really helps.)
- beating the eggs on the highest speed of the mixer (I didn’t quite use the full speed when I first tried out my mixer on the genoise, and then I saw Rose’s instruction to use the highest speed afterwards.)
I use superfine sugar, and I measure my eggs by volume (3/4 c). Unfortunately, I don’t have a scale, and that may be an issue. However, I don’t want to spend more money just yet only to find out that I still can’t make a genoise.
I think I’ve overheated my eggs in the past. Today, I heated the eggs just until they felt a bit warm to the touch. But, I noticed that they achieved less volume than usual after the 5 minute beating. I read the section on genoise in Shirley Corriher’s Bakewise, and I think next time, I will use a thermometer and try to get between 86 to 90 degrees F on the eggs.
I hope someone can also offer me some advice on what else may be wrong. Perhaps it may be my folding technique. I’ve watched Rose’s videos so many times though. I don’t think I’ll get any more insight out of them.
Also, has anyone ever considered how Rose’s genoise recipe even works? According to Shirley Corriher, beating on medium speed for a long time (at least 10 minutes) is required for maximum stability of the egg foam. Rose’s genoise requires only 5 minutes on high speed. Then, the batter is supposed to fill a 9x2 pan 2/3 full. A 9x2 pan is 8 2/3 c. in volume, so 2/3 would be 5.78 c. The volume of the eggs is 3/4 c. Assuming they quadruple, the final volume of the eggs would be 3 c. The recipe also has 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c. cake flour, ~1/2 c. cornstarch. Of course the volume actually deflates a little bit when you add the flour/cornstarch, and even without deflation, adding the cornstarch/flour probably wouldn’t increase volume linearly. But let’s overestimate and assume that adding 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. cake flour, 1/2 c. cornstarch increases the volume of the batter by 1.5 c. Then the final volume of the batter would be 4.5 c., which would fill the pan about half full, not 2/3 full. Since this is obviously an overestimate, the batter would realistically not even fill the pan half way, which is what always happens to me.
If you look at Rose’s genoise video (the PBS one, part 2), when she fills the pan with the batter, I don’t think that looks 2/3 full. At most it is half full. I know many have used this recipe with success, but I wonder how success is possible, when theoretical considerations don’t look very favorable.